The West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI) announced the development of its first engineering prototype, Sense4Baby, a non-invasive wireless device designed to make fetal and maternal monitoring more readily available to expectant mothers wherever cellular or Internet services exist.
Such capabilities could significantly increase access to fetal and maternal monitoring via low-cost wireless technologies and reduce the burden of care associated with high risk pregnancy. According to UNICEF, 80 percent of maternal deaths could be prevented if women had access to essential obstetric and basic health care services, including monitoring technology.
"Sense4Baby has the potential to transform the way many high-risk pregnancies are monitored, almost anywhere in the world, by leveraging low-cost and proven wireless technologies," said WWHI Chairman and Founder Gary West. "Our focus on low-cost solutions gives us the opportunity to impact many, many more lives and reach expectant mothers who may not otherwise have access to care."
WWHI's Sense4Baby prototype integrates the functionality of traditional cardiotocography.
"Sense4Baby is an evolution in standard cardiotocography, which typically requires patients to be tethered to a hospital or clinic bed or making frequent trips to a doctor's office," said Dr. Joseph Smith, Chief Medical and Science Officer, WWHI. "Our engineering team integrated proven and low-cost technologies into a wireless prototype that could potentially be applied in home, hospital, or ambulatory settings. Timely transmission and interpretation of fetal and maternal health data could significantly ease many of the burdens faced by high-risk patients."
Sense4Baby is an engineered prototype investigational device and is not available for commercial distribution or professional use. WWHI is exploring feasibility studies and trial opportunities in the United States and globally.